clear
Monday August 31st, 2015 11:26AM

Pacers rally past Hawks 101-85 to even series

By The Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS -- Paul George scored 27 points and George Hill had all 15 of his points in the second half, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 101-85 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.

The Pacers and Hawks are tied at a game apiece heading into Game 3 in Atlanta on Thursday.

George was especially effective even though he spent much of the night defending Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, who had 14 points. Paul Millsap finished with 19 for Atlanta.

The first 24 minutes looked like an exact duplicate of Game 1, but the Pacers pulled away with a 31-13 third quarter.

Top-seeded Indiana took its first lead since the first quarter on Lance Stephenson's tiebreaking three-point play with 7:58 left. The Pacers then put the game away with a 25-2 run that stretched into the fourth quarter.

David West got it started with a bank shot that made it 70-65 with 3:20 left. George made a 3 to make it 79-65 heading into the fourth, and the Pacers scored the first eight points of the final period.

Lou Williams stopped Atlanta's scoring drought with a jumper with 9:03 left, making it 87-67. But the Pacers coasted from there.

The series now shifts to Atlanta, where the Pacers have won only two times since December 2006 - though one of those wins allowed Indiana to close out last year's first-round series 4-2.

Tuesday's win at least gave the Pacers a brief respite from the constant questions that have dogged them throughout their late-season swoon. TNT commentator Charles Barkley even questioned the Pacers' toughness on Sunday.

But Indiana tightened up in Game 2 and got back to playing the kind of basketball that it did during the first half of the season.

With the two Georges and Stephenson leading the way in the second half, the offense rolled. And the Pacers finally figured out how to defend Atlanta's spread offense, too.

After allowing 11 3-pointers in the opener and eight more in the first half Tuesday, the Pacers gave up just two over the final 24 minutes of Game 2.

The combination allowed Indiana to salvage a sorely needed split of the opening two games - despite chasing the Hawks for most of the first half.

The Pacers appeared to be in trouble when they trailed 26-21 after the first quarter and fell into an 11-point hole in the second. They closed to 52-48 at the break and carried the momentum over into their strong second half.

Hill's 7-foot runner with 8:34 left in the third tied it at 59. Stephenson's three-point play 36 seconds later gave Indiana the lead and George's buzzer-beating 3 capped an 11-0 quarter-ending run. George celebrated by slowly walking to the corner of the court and yelling to the crowd, right in front of the Hawks bench.

Reserve Luis Scola added 20 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 7 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 7 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 8 months ago )
Sports
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 8 months ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 8 months ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 8 months ago )
Professional Sports
5 things: What we learned from Week 1 of high school football
Here’s a look at five things we learned from week 1 of the high school football season...
5:17PM ( 5 hours from now )
Carter's cancer rekindles memories of 1980 Olympic boycott
Thirty-five years after his hopes for a gold medal were dashed by Jimmy Carter's boycott of the Moscow Olympics, Craig Beardsley is at peace.
10:53PM ( 12 hours ago )
Braves' woes continue in 'demoralizing' 20-6 loss to Yankees
A Braves team that was at .500 through 84 games has since been in a downward slide that gained speed with three straight losses to the Yankees.
10:50PM ( 12 hours ago )
Turner Field US flag at half-staff, players' families deal with grief after fan dies in fall
ATLANTA (AP) — The U.S. flag flew at half-staff at Turner Field on Sunday, one day after a fan died following his fall from the upper deck into the lower-level stands during a game between the Atlanta...
7:26PM ( 16 hours ago )
Jones cruises to Truck win in Canada, takes points lead
Two weeks ago in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Alex Tagliani got turned out of the lead by Regan Smith and lost his shot at a win.
By Stephanie Wallcraft-NASCAR Wire Service
6:17PM ( 17 hours ago )